Does it snow in Jordan? Jordan, a country in the Middle East, is distinguished by extensive desert landscapes.
So many people visit the country mainly because of its culture, ancient history, and natural landscapes. The climate of the country is often dry due to low quantities of precipitation.
However, many people are curious to know about snowfall here, and ask, “Does it ever snow in Jordan?”
Let’s find out more about it now!
Snow is extremely rare in Jordan, but you may sometimes find flurries at higher elevations in some cities.
More about the Climate of Jordan
The climate of Jordan is rather variable, ranging from Mediterranean to desert conditions, but is generally dry.
During the winter, the elevated northern and southern parts experience temperatures between 9 and 13 degrees Celsius, while the desert regions experience temperatures between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius.
In the hottest part of the year, the Jordanian Valley can reach temperatures of 38–39 degrees Celsius, while the desert sections are only significantly cooler at 26–29 degrees Celsius.
Here is the mean temperature in Jordan throughout the year:
Historical Variation in Temperatures in Jordan
Historically, temperatures have changed a little in Jordan. For instance, here is more about the temperature in Jordan during 1961 and 1990.
However, you will notice that the weather gradually got warmer between 1991 and 2020.
The Rainfall Pattern
About 75% of Jordan’s annual precipitation falls during the winter months.
Dry Sirocco winds, locally referred to as Khamsin, have a considerable impact on the country’s environment, often causing dramatic temperature swings, with increases of up to 15 degrees Celsius.
Further influencing the climate dynamics of the region are the north and northeasterly blowing Shammal Winds, which add to already high daytime temperatures.
Fact: Jordan has a subtropical desert climate, with little annual precipitation and dry conditions for most of the year.
Does It Snow in Jordan?
Okay, can it snow in Jordan? Due to its generally arid desert climate, snow is a rare occurrence in most places of Jordan.
The primary elements shaping Jordan’s climate are the low yearly precipitation and the prevalence of desert and semiarid regions.
Generally speaking, snowfall is rare and confined to locations over 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), primarily in the northwestern semiarid regions.
It has snowed, however, on record. This is especially true in the northwest, where the mountains reach heights of over a thousand meters.
Fact: At a height of more than 700 meters, the capital city of Amman occasionally receives snowfall, usually between the months of December and March as a result of the effect of cold air masses.
History of Snowfall in Jordan
Jordan rarely ever witnesses snowfall. But, there have been some rare occasions in the past.
In 1992, 2013, 2015, and 2022, Jordan saw significant snowstorms that dumped over 30 centimeters of snow in locations like Amman. Disruptions to transportation and infrastructure are possible as a result of these occurrences.
Higher elevations in Jordan do see occasional snowfall during the cooler winter months, despite the fact that much of the country is too dry and warm for frequent snowfall.
Fact: In Jordan, during a particularly severe cold spell, snow may fall even in low-lying places and deserts.
The Impact of Rainfall
Since snowfall is uncommon in Jordan’s arid climate, the impact of rainfall on reducing the likelihood of snowfall is not a relevant factor.
Rainfall in Jordan is relatively scarce overall, with the bulk of the wet season falling between November and April, with the winter months of December and February seeing the highest precipitation.
In the northwestern regions, annual rainfall ranges from 250 to 450 millimeters (10 to 18 inches). In the rest of the country, including the south-central Jordan Valley and extensive portions in the north-east and south-east, it lowers to below 100 millimeters (4 inches).
What is Winter Like in Jordan?
Daytime highs in the winter in Jordan average approximately 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), while overnight lows hover around 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit).
December typically sees an uptick in precipitation across the country, and this usually goes up to about 4 cm (1.5 inches). It is also possible to see snowfall in locations like Wadi Rum, lending a touch of seasonal enchantment to the landscape.
An Important Consideration
Despite the cold, Jordanians celebrate Christmas with great fervor, decorating trees, making date-stuffed sweets called maamoul, and getting together with friends and family.
Fact: While Islam constitutes the majority of Jordan's population, many of the country's Muslims share the joy of the holiday season with the country's small but growing Christian community.
Why is Snowfall Rare in Jordan?
The subtropical dry climate best describes Jordan’s weather, which features distinct seasonal temperature and precipitation shifts. The country’s natural features, such as its plateau, valleys, and mountain regions, all contribute to the climate.
Because of its desert climate and very high elevation, snowfall in Jordan is an extremely unusual occurrence.
Here are some possible explanations as to why the area does not get enough snow:
There are two necessary conditions for snow to fall:
The temperature must go below freezing, and there must be a lot of moisture in the air.
Only in the western half of the country, at higher altitudes, do winter temperatures drop low enough to meet these requirements.
During December and January, when the capital city of Amman is at an elevation of around 800 meters above sea level, it occasionally snows, with temperatures averaging between 4 and 13 degrees Celsius.
More significant snowfall, however, necessitates altitudes higher than 1,000 meters.
At an elevation of 810 meters above sea level, the ancient city of Petra has the potential to receive a light coating of snow during some winters.
Jabal Umm al Dami, the highest summit in Jordan at 1,854 meters, is located in the vast desert of Wadi Rum and is the most likely region to get frequent winter snowfall.
The Lack of Moisture
The lack of atmospheric moisture and Jordan’s proximity to the 30°N latitude put the country outside the optimal worldwide zones for regular heavy snowfall. And this eventually accounts for the country’s seldom snowfall.
Light snowfall is common and can be rather scenic, but major snowstorms are extremely rare and usually confined to isolated locations in the western mountains.
Valley of the Jordan River
The Valley of the Jordan River is located to the west of Jordan. This valley is narrow and low, and it actually dips below the water line.
Because of this, average summer temperatures here are higher than on the plateau. The lower elevation of the Jordan River Valley results in warmer winters and extremely hot summers.
What is the Best Time to Visit Jordan?
The months of March through May and September through November are ideal for a trip to Jordan.
Temperatures are typically lower in the spring and fall, often staying around 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. And this pleasant weather makes sightseeing a lot more enjoyable.
Moreover, during these transitional times, precipitation is less likely to occur. Spring and fall in Jordan are typically drier than winter due to the country’s mild climate. This means rain is less likely to throw a wrench in your plans.
And finally, fewer people visit popular tourist destinations like Petra and Jerash in the spring and fall, which are termed shoulder seasons. This may help you get more out of your trip.
Fact: Peak travel times for tourists in Jordan are often in the summer and winter.
Does it snow in Jordan? No, it does not snow in Jordan. Jordan has a dry climate with large temperature swings across the seasons.
Jordan’s interesting weather and climate patterns result from the country’s varied topography. While you are not going to find any snow upon your visit, you will find many other things to keep you entertained.
Generally speaking, winter in Jordan is a wonderful time to experience the country’s rich history and culture in a quieter, more intimate setting. So, plan your trip and be ready to be amazed.